Singleton + Writer + Book Lover + Moviegoer = Screen Spinster

Welcome to the loneliest blog on the web. I have no words of wisdom to espouse. (why does espouse sound so much like spouse? Is that word trying to rub it into my spinster brain?) Anyway, I don't own a cat. Never will. I don't cook, nor do I sew or knit, but I do spin a yarn (tale) from time to time. I have no domestic talents, I am not a domestic engineer/goddess, nor do I want to be. I'll sometimes post my views on scripts, (mine & yours or theirs) movies, television shows and maybe theatre, along with my own musings usually in the style of a poem. So pull up a rocking chair, sit back as your cherry pie bakes and stay a while if you like.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie Thoughts: UNKNOWN

Liam Neeson is a good actor. I enjoy his screen presence. But not even his talent can save the horrible dialogue that litters this film. I can't remember the last time I saw a film that had such terrible dialogue. There was no subtext or mystery surrounding most of the words. Everything was "on-the-nose." It's eye-rolling bad. And when delivered by January Jones, it's laughable, and not in a good way.

The film in a nutshell: Martin Harris goes to Germany with his wife Elizabeth for some kind of conference, but before he gets to that conference, he's involved in a car accident that leaves him in a coma for a few days. He wakes up in the hospital, and nobody is there to claim him. He starts to remember who he is, confronts his wife, who says she doesn't know him, and he is then introduced to the real Martin Harris. Stuff happens. Car chases. Investigations. Attempted murder, and actual murder, as Martin tries to figure out who he is, and what the hell is going on. Along the way, he partners up with a taxi driver (Diane Kruger) who was involved in his car accident, and her life is then brought into danger. We finally find out what's going on when the "twist" is revealed, and then the movie starts to make a bit more sense. As for as a twist in a thriller film goes, this one is okay. It's not too far-fetched or ridiculous, and is plausible. But by that point, the horrible dialogue, and terrible acting by January Jones (she is beyond miscast in this role, and it's painful to watch her), the film is already in the shitter.

Now that being said, I was in the mood for a cheesy thriller set in Europe. I had a feeling the movie wouldn't be great, and it wasn't. I just didn't think the first 30 minutes would be that terrible, or that the dialogue would hurt my ears so much. Who wrote this?( Oliver Butcher & Stephen Cornwell) And with a quick imdb credit check, I can now see why this film is so badly written. Sigh.

Unknown is pretty bad. It's really cheesy. It borders on the ridiculous. But if you're in the mood for a no brainer film then I guess you can go see it, but maybe go on a cheap Tuesday night, or wait until dvd. There is something about seeing a bad film in the theatre where you can laugh out loud at the stupidity of some of the situations. It's a way of making yourself a bit of an elitist, and mocking those who are just not as cool as you, which can be kind of fun! However fleeting that feeling may be.


  1. Do you think it was all writing that tanked this? January Jones is talented - was she directed poorly?

  2. I don't see her talent, of what I've seen of her in this and Mad Men, I just think she's wooden, and generic. There's nothing "special" about her work as far as I can see.

    Her role in Unknown isn't huge. But she kills every scene that she's in though.

    The writing overall is just not crisp or original. If Liam Neeson can't even make the dialogue work then it's definitely a writing issue. I also don't think a director can make someone come across as natural if they're wooden (There's only so much a director can do, and then it's up to the Editor to try to fix it) :)